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Thread: Returning from Spain with firearm

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Returning from Spain with firearm

    My brother-in-law is a United States citizen, but his family lives in Spain. He traveled there for an extended visit, and is now a stranded, because of the coronavirus. His father carried a 1934 Beretta handgun during the Spanish civil war, and his family has given him the pistol. He wants to bring it back to the United States, and as a resident of Kentucky can legally own the firearm. I'm not sure how he could legally bring it to the United States, but I believe that since it is his property, that it might be possible to have it in checked baggage, just as a person would do if they were bringing firearms back from an overseas hunting trip. If that is the case, it would be at the discretion of the airline, as to whether or not he would be allowed to return with it. On the other hand, I could see this being viewed as importing a firearm from another country, and that would open the door to a lot of legal issues as well.

    Does anyone here have any experience with a situation like this?. He is not coming home anytime soon, because of the quarantine situation in Spain, but I thought I would try to pass along any information that experienced members here might have. Thanks to anyone who might be able to respond.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    tomme boy's Avatar
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    It should have to go through an importer.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    Might be wise contacting the US Embassy and the BATF.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Find the right importer and they will walk you thru the process. People import guns every day. All it takes is money and time.
    Just google "firearms importer" and pick one you like.
    East Tennessee

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    I would contact the ATF and get their input. But, it looks like since the gun in question would be a "Curio and Relic" that it can be done, but not simply by throwing it in checked baggage.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    There is a couple gentlemen, I believe in Georgia, who started a business to help GGCA members with importing firearms from Germany. I don't know how far they've spread their wings to other countries, nor do I know the name off the top of my head. Their reputation among club members is fine as far as I know. I will check back issues of publications and try to find them.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    I really appreciate the rapid response and these answers, and I will continue to look into things. I should have stated at the outset that I am aware that his possession of the firearm in Spain would probably be illegal, and that any ownership right as a US citizen would certainly not be recognized elsewhere.

  8. #8
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  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Ian at Forgotten Weapons has a good YouTube video where he talks about his experience importing a individual firearm.Here is the link.
    JM

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EApdOogHi_k

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy

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    Your first step is to contact the BATF. I knew a smallbore shooter who used to buy his new Anschutz target rifle directly from Germany. He said the BATF agent he worked with was most co-operative. But that was many years ago. Have since lost contact with him.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have done it but been a while and don’t remember all the details. Pre 1898 little or no paper work. Post 1898, one simple form, but if it was ever considered military, rather used by military or not it must go through a licensed importer.

  12. #12
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    I do know a BATF Form 6 is required.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Last I knew as an active service member was to fill out an ATF Form 6 and submit. It'll take 4-6 weeks + Corona time for approval. Secure in luggage, declare at port of entry and they will check #'s against approved Fm6. If insufficient time to travel date, obtain and fill out form 6 and travel. Upon arrival declare at customs and they will safe keep weapon(s) until approved. Upon approval, take paperwork back to Customs warehouse and retrieve firearm.

    I had to do this in 1990 when returning from Germany and purchased a few Anschutz right before PCSing. Thankfully, I only had to go from Baltimore to the DC Customs warehouse to pick up my guns after the PW was approved.

    Call the ATF and verify if this is still the process with all the BS legislation about importation. Mention that it was a family members war trophy ect... family history/heirloom.
    Last edited by Greg S; 03-27-2020 at 12:00 PM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Don't play games! Since 9/11 luggage is x-rayed. It will be discovered. Figure out how and do it legally and everyone will be much happier.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    I'll echo what everyone else said. He's gonna need to make arrangements with an importer and get all the paperwork squared away ahead of time.

    If he just tosses it in his luggage, it'll get confiscated and he'll end up in jail.

  16. #16
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    Call an importer. Now everyone wants to be J. Edgar Hoover and save the world for democracy. Common sense is long gone so don't mess with this
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

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  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks for everyone who contributed, we have decided to be very cautious, and not proceed until we hear from an importer
    .

  18. #18
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    I was in a similar situation and no matter how he does it, it will be crazy expensive. There is a special form from the BATF that allows import of an inheritance, but that would not allow ever selling the firearm in the U.S. - I suggest calling them and get the information and forms directly from them. He cannot legally just stuff it in his baggage and bring it back.
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  19. #19
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    Just call the BATF. They can give you the requirements and you will be amazed at how simple the process is but takes time. Typically once the ATF form 6 is approved it expires in 6 months so you need to plan your travel around this time frame. You can go through an importer but that is also takes a lot of time and very costly.

    gmsharps

  20. #20
    I've "imported" one myself, but it's been a very long time, but it can be done. I'd of course recommend checking with BATF to ensure the laws haven't changed in the meantime. I would say this is a "special case," as I was on active duty at the time.

    That said, I just checked for the form and it appears there MAY be a way w/o being a military member.
    https://www.atf.gov/firearms/docs/fo...n-and/download

    Big picture, fill out some ATF / Treasury forms, send to DC, wait 120 days, and then bring back.

    Back in 1998 I did a six month deployment to Turkey (Navy squadron supporting USAF air wing - no fly zone enforcement). While there I bought two Huglu shotguns, 103C, in 20 and 12 gauge. Really glad I did. We filled out a similar form, though ours specifically said "for members of US armed forces." But form at link above does not have that language.

    Hope it helps....

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